A week later, not so pretty.

It wasn’t pretty.

He spoke about worry and anxiety. He spoke about how we all had something that was eating at us, something we needed to let go of. He handed the papers around to everyone in the group. We were a small group last Sunday, and it was just as well. As he handed me the paper I knew what needed to be written, and tears filled my eyes daring to brim over.

The day before I sat in the fast food restaurant relishing the meal we were eating with our son. Knowing these times where he lived close would end I didn’t want to talk about his upcoming move. He did. He told us he would find out where he was going within the next few weeks and I shut the conversation down. “I’m the mommy.”

It had become a refrain or a mantra which I had held onto tightly. It was okay if I got teary (despite my knowing better), and it was okay if I worried and was anxious (even though I’m told not to). Why? Because I was the mommy.

But sitting there at the table, as I put a kibosh on the conversation, God spoke into my heart. I realized I was holding on tighter than I should, and was squashing any excitement he might have towards his future. I was trying to hold him here, but it was time to let him move forward, and move forward myself.

So, sitting in the Sunday school room the next day only one thing needed to be written on that paper. One word which encapsulated all my worries and stresses: my son’s name. I wasn’t too surprised but incredibly grateful God had prepared me for that morning. I wrote it quietly and folded the paper in half. Then our teacher said something I should have seen coming, but didn’t. “Tear the paper into tiny bits, and then place it in the envelope under the cross.”

Oh friends, had I known I don’t think I would have written his name down. How do I tear up the paper with my son’s name on it? How do I do that? How can I? How does a mother do such a thing? I panicked and in doing so my thinking went off course. A little crazy. Okay, a big crazy. In the moment I looked back at the paper I realized the mother I had become was not so pretty.

I had tried to be a good mother who showed how much she cared about her child but it started showing by how I cried. That did not make me a good mother. It probably made me quite annoying and obnoxious, to be perfectly honest. I had squashed a conversation my son wanted to have because I was showing what a good mother I was. Where is the intelligence there? Where is the love?

We are good mothers because we have been blessed with these opportunities, and because we love our children. We make mistakes, we start over, and we make good choices by the Grace of God. And now, for me, it is time to let him have his own life and be excited for him again. It was time to tear up the piece of paper and let God have my son. (Though He already has him.)

I am so beyond blessed with my children. I want to enjoy them, and in order to do that I am going to have to step out of myself again. Yes, I’m the mommy. But the mommy I had become was not so pretty anymore.

Here’s to all of us working on letting our children fly on their own wings, no matter what the current stage. May we all lift each other up in the process.


  1. it's hard stacey. so been there. rest assured you are not the first mom to let 'let go' kicking and screaming. and you're certainly not the first mom to shed tears at the thought of their child not being at home.

    this process goes against everything we know as mothers/nurturers. from the moment of conception, or feeling that first kick in the womb, we are hard-wired to care and protect these beautiful children. so that fact that it's not easy to let them go is pretty easy to understand.

    there's so much grace in the process - pretty or not. hang in there momma.

    1. I think when we start to accept the new normal, for a lack of better terms, it gets easier. When we are constantly living in the what was we miss it more. Maybe? Thanks Kelly. Always so supportive!

  2. I love you... It seems so terribly inadequate, but I am thinking of you every day.

    And even when you feel you mess up, you're still a good mommy.

    1. I appreciate the thoughts and prayers. You are a good friend. Thank you

  3. These posts of your make *me* cry. My mom was so good (and still is) and celebrating my flight. She says, "I raised you for this." Oh, how I hope to follow her example. Truth be told, I'm a wimp. Any good I do will be all God's doing.

    1. That's what Captain always says too! Believe me, we can be both strong and wimpy, just at different times. :) I am finding once I walk in His strength, however, it's almost a choice to go back to the weepy mommy. Though the surprise attacks get me ALL THE TIME!


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